Self portrait in the studio at Peckham after Steenwyck the Younger

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Image courtesy of Art Daily

Today, we’re looking at a 2015 painting by the amazing Raqib Shaw. It’s part of a series of four paintings based on works from the National Gallery. I picked this one because it fits the exhibition particularly well, being a self portrait set inside the artist’s studio. A lot of imagery is reminiscent of himself and his work, such as the bronze sculpture which was first exhibited at the same time as this painting. Other elements that refer to the artist in this painting are his dogs and his champagne case.

I also like that there is an actual mirror at the center of the painting where the representation of the artist is reflected. This might be linked to the fact that it is adapted from an older painting by Steenwyck, dating back to 1610. As you can see if you compare it with the original below, Shaw kept the basic structure and format of the painting, as well as some striking elements: the architectural features, the tablecloth, and the floor design. His painting is more charged than the original, in his usual opulent style and with his particular technique of painting with enamel using a porcupine quill, which renders this precision and realistic feel. Another difference you will have noticed is the background, which features views on a garden in Shaw’s version. This is the view he has from his studio; so effectively, he hasn’t represented his workplace in terms of structural features but in terms of its exterior.

I’m a big fan of this painting because of its very personal nature but also because there is plenty to look at. It’s full of technique, color work, but also choices, which gives it a striking personality that I fell can sometimes get lost in a lot of contemporary art.

about 1610

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Camera Selfies

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Image courtesy of Seen by

Camera Selfies is a series by J.F. Novotny, a German photographer who experiments with the concept of the selfie and applies it to vintage cameras. He places the camera in front of a wallpaper (which is sometimes too elaborate for my taste in some of the photos) contemporary to the camera. His aim is to capture the personality of each camera in a false self portrait. The viewer sees the artwork from the perspective of the mirror.

I find the idea more interesting than the artworks themselves but still worth publishing. I particularly like the Polaroid selfies since you can see a triple reflection of the subject; as the camera itself, the developed photo, and the reflection in the lens.

You can check out the rest of the series or even buy them here.

Reflections

All photos courtesy of Sebastian Magnani

This photo set is a current project by Swiss photographer Sebastian Magnani. The pictures were shot in various locations and explore the effects rendered by a spherical mirror lain on the ground. I find the relationship between the ground and the sky, as reflected in the mirror, to be super intriguing. It’s not often that we get to look at the floor and at the sky at the same time and it’s interesting to see how they may or may not be related. The mirror is the connecting point between them here and sometimes, what’s reflected in it can explain what we see on the ground. In other cases though, it’s like they’re two different worlds. What I also like about these pictures is that the floor serves as a sort of frame for what’s reflected in the mirror and I think it’s a fitting one because it’s what naturally falls under this reflection.

Ok enough deep talking, you can check out the rest of the pictures here.